(AFP) – Nov 12, 2010
WASHINGTON — An American man who hacked into the email account of then-vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin was sentenced Friday to a year and a day in jail, court officials said.
However, the judge recommended that David Kernell, 22, serve his sentence in a halfway house rather than a more restrictive federal prison.
"It's up to the bureau of prisons to decide," Catherine Watson, a clerk with the federal court in Knoxville, Tennessee, told AFP.
Palin, a darling of the conservative rightwing, had her email hacked in September 2008 as she campaigned alongside Republican presidential candidate John McCain for the White House.
A number of her emails and two family photos taken from her account were posted online.
The FBI soon traced the hacking back to Kernell, whose father was a Democratic state representative from Memphis, Tennessee.
The elder Kernell said at the time that he was unaware of the actions of his son, who was a student at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.
Kernell, now 22, was convicted in April of illegally accessing Palin's email and obstruction of justice.
Palin did not immediately respond to news of Kernell's sentence.
"My family and I are thankful that the jury thoroughly and carefully weighed the evidence and issued a just verdict," Palin wrote on her Facebook page at the time of Kernell's conviction.
"Besides the obvious invasion of privacy and security concerns surrounding this issue, many of us are concerned about the integrity of our country's political elections," she added.
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